Explaining variance in perceived research misbehavior: results from a survey among academic researchers in Amsterdam

Research Integrity and Peer Review 6 (1) (2021)
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Abstract

BackgroundConcerns about research misbehavior in academic science have sparked interest in the factors that may explain research misbehavior. Often three clusters of factors are distinguished: individual factors, climate factors and publication factors. Our research question was: to what extent can individual, climate and publication factors explain the variance in frequently perceived research misbehaviors?MethodsFrom May 2017 until July 2017, we conducted a survey study among academic researchers in Amsterdam. The survey included three measurement instruments that we previously reported individual results of and here we integrate these findings.ResultsOne thousand two hundred ninety-eight researchers completed the survey. Results showed that individual, climate and publication factors combined explained 34% of variance in perceived frequency of research misbehavior. Individual factors explained 7%, climate factors explained 22% and publication factors 16%.ConclusionsOur results suggest that the perceptions of the research climate play a substantial role in explaining variance in research misbehavior. This suggests that efforts to improve departmental norms might have a salutary effect on behavior.

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Author's Profile

Lex M. Bouter
VU University Amsterdam